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Old 08-01-2020, 08:12 AM
robkoa robkoa is offline
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Default Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + sennheiser 609 e silver awful results muffled and boomy

Hi all you crazy cats n' kittens.

tldr; please check gear list below, and simply recommend: YES This gear should give good results, or NO this is the wrong gear, use XYZ instead.



I'm a noob. I want to start recording. I walk into GC, and explain what I want to do: Sit on a stool, and record acoustic guitar faithfully (what you hear is what you get), from a single xlr mic.

I learned that I need 3 things.
1. A Microphone to capture the analog sound coming from my acoustic guitar.
2. An Audio Interface to plug that XLR cable from Mic, to receive and conver the analog signal to digital, to pass to a computer (in my case) for recording.
3. Studio monitor: Speaker system that allows you to hear your recording live real time while you record, so that you can monitor the level of the audio and the general sound.

I set it all up. Finally got it all working (needed to get a correct Focusrite Audio Interface Firmware, before which I couldn't record).

Now it works, but the sound is god awful. I learned by trial and error, that you have to raise the GAIN to basically 100% to even hear anything on the recording, and when I record the sound is just a wall of boom. I'm slightly exaggerating, but if my Android Pixel4 audio recording is a 1 out of 10, then this $500+ setup is a 2/10.

The guitar sounds far away, even though I put the mic as close to me as possible. I tried to move the mic back 10", 12" 16" 2 feet, 3 feet, it doesn't ever sound good. Just boomy and as I move away, 'boomy but far away' sounding.

I see that this mic seems to do wonders for Guitar Amp recording. Is this just the wrong tool?
PS They gave me one of these because they didn't have a Shure sm57 (their original recommendation).

Gear below:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - Audio Interface
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Focusri...%202i2&index=1

Sennheiser e609 Silver - Dynamic Microphone
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Sennhei...-Microphone.gc

Sterling MX3 Black - Studio Monitor
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Sterlin...00000215767.gc

Lenovo W530 computer (plenty of horsepower)

Audacity for recording: with Scarlett 2i2 as in and out.

I don't expect anyone to dig deep and try to figure this particular situation out with me. That would be very lazy on my part. My only question is:
Should I be able to get this gear working in such a way that I can record faithful sounding acoustic guitar?

OR - is this just the wrong gear, and should I be using something different?
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2020, 09:14 AM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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Yeah, that mic is designed to literally lay right on a guitar cab to mic it. I'd immediately get a different mic. Practically any other mic. The 57, ehhh. If your interface has phantom power, a condenser mic imho will do a better job of capturing your guitar. With dynamic mics, like that 609, the gain needs to be cranked beyond where it should to get anything, and then the gain staging is all whack. Return the mic and get a condenser mic. That will help immensely!

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Sterlin...00000224024.gc

Also, fwiw, you don't NEED monitors. I record "silently" more often than not now. A decent set of (preferably) over the ear headphones or in ear headphones will work. You just need to get the 1/4" to 1/8" adapter if needed, and a long enough cable.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2020, 09:42 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is online now
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I agree that they sold you the wrong mic. Pretty much any condenser mic will give you much better results for acoustic guitar than a dynamic mic. Skip the SM57 for now. Looking at the GC web site, there are a number of condenser mics for the same $100 as the 57. A small diaphragm condenser like the Sterling ST131, Blue Ember, or SE Electronics sE7 would be good starter mics. You can get good results with one mic, you don't necessarily need to go with a matched pair as YamahaGuy recommends, although that is an option if you want.

These all need phantom power, so after you plug the mics in, press the 48V button on the Focusrite (*after* you plug the mics in!).

The space you are recording in also makes a big difference. If your room is echo-y and boomy, your recording will be too. Try some different rooms if you can, or at least different spots within your room. You may also need some room treatment. As a cheap first try, you can pile as many pillows and blankets as you have around you (particularly behind the mic) to see if that helps. From there, you can to to many other options. Search the recording section here for room treatment or acoustic panels... lots of threads on this.

As for the monitors, you don't need them when you are playing, but you do need them to listen back to what you've recorded. If you are multi-tracking and listening back to a track while you record another, you need headphones or earbuds. These don't need to be great (I've used earbuds that came with my cell phone) but obviously ones that sound better will make things a bit easier to hear.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:01 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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The E609 is often used hung by a mic cord draped over the top of a loud electric guitar amp. I can therefore tolerate a tremendously loud signal and not distort or damage itself. Yes, it has less gain than even a Shure SM57 (another rugged mic that can handle kissing the grill cloth of a loud electric guitar amp). Works great for that.

I actually tried using a E609 for vocals once. I'd just watched LCD Soundsystem, whose vocalist/front man uses a physically similar and somewhat related model Sennheiser model for his vocals. I handheld it and sang close to the mic's grill. Yes, I had to crank the gain on my interface even in this scenario, which is not what you are trying to do. It sort-of worked that way, super close micing, just capturing a vocal) but it's inherent sound didn't grab me.

The person at the store steered you wrong. The E609 isn't the mic to use.

The Focusrite interfaces work fine, but they don't have tons of gain in their mic preamps. They are fairly quiet (self noise) even if the gain is set to max however. And with modern digital recording at 24 bits you also don't need a bit fat signal to get a good recording. You should be OK with the Focusrite.

Those who already responded have suggested a condenser mic. They generally have a hotter signal and are more sensitive. In a distance micing scenario where you're trying to capture both a vocal and an acoustic they may be better. There are tons of inexpensive Asian-made condenser mics (some cheaper than the e609 or Shure SM57), for example the Audio-Tecnica AT2035. There are a great many others in this class, lots of things that other people might suggest.

Your original idea, the SM57 would have worked I'd think, even in a single, somewhat distant micing scenario. People knock the SM57 in that it's not a sensitive mic that picks up every nuance, but some vocals and some acoustic guitar can respond to it in favorable ways. I'm unsure about this. but I'm not certain that in typical home recording, untreated room for acoustic issues, that an condenser mic is always the best choice, but I'm no expert. I just know that in my untreated "studio B" (a bedroom home office) I use a dynamic vocal mic and an Irig Acoustic Stage clip-in acoustic guitar microphone.

Once you get your mic straightened out, you can move on to finding the best placement for the one mic to get your guitar and vocals balanced and to not pickup too much guitar boom and woof.

Hope any of this helps.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:30 AM
anton anton is offline
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As others have suggested, a different mic, or a pair, would be the best place to start and you would probably be good for a while learning with those. Your interface is fine, it has two inputs with preamps.

Did you just buy the E609? Maybe you can return it, if you dont plan on recording guitar amps in the future.

For getting started and not wanting to spend a ton I like the Audio Technica line of mics. Doug gets great results in this video with a pair of AT2020's, I have a pair of these as well. They are phantom powered condensor mics, which will have a higher ouput than your dynamic E609.



If you can swing a pair of mics I think copying Doug's spaced pair placement in that video is a great place to start.

If you want to spend more Audio Technica has more expensive mics, and there are a many other brands. If you plan on getting another mic and have a budget in mind we can probably make more specific suggestions.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:01 PM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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As everyone said, wrong mic for the purpose. (It was set so the front faced the guitar, right?)

And a good set of studio headphones would probably have been a better first choice than those monitors.

AT2020 or something like that and Sony 7506 cans but there are lots of good options that will make your life easier.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:44 PM
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TBman TBman is online now
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I use a pair of AT2035 mics, but the AT2020 sound good too. I have a Focusrite 2i4 and even with the condenser mics I have to push the gain to 8-9 to get decent levels.

The focusrite is ok, but I like recording with my two 2035s into a Zoom H5 in another room away from my computer. I also use headphones to monitor, not speakers.

I use the Focusrite basically to watch Netflix movies on the computer and listen with my headphones,

I bought my mics from Sweetwater btw.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:45 PM
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I would see if you can return the mic and monitors and put the funds towards a pair of mics, if you want to go that route. Lots of good options on the used market, and other places besides GC.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:07 PM
robkoa robkoa is offline
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YamahaGuy,
Awesome thanks so much!
After my purchase, and when I set everything up - I realized they sold me that Monitor set - and that I didn't really need it. (nice to have, but not necessary)
Your explanation of why the gain knob did nothing at less than 100% makes sense here in this case. Thanks for your input!

Chipotle,
Good point on the phantom power, this focusrite does have it -so that's a bonus.
Great idea on panels, I have space, and budget, so will research these. The area behind the mic is huge and open and can be echoy. I might move things around
Thanks for the advice!

FrankHudson,
In my testing, vocals actually sounded good on this Sennheiser. Agree, they steered me wrong. Unfortunately they seemed extremely rushed to help me (probably due to their curb-side pickup style approach to Covid-19, so I don't blame them). If a guitar store is open it should be open. If it's closed it should be closed. What's a noob walking in looking for advice going to do when they pile boxes of gear on the counter and it's the wrong gear.
They don't owe me anything, I should have researched more, but always trying to support brick and mortar. I should probably go more local route than GC.
That's it, the boom and woof I was getting, exactly.
Thanks for confirmation that focusrite should be good for this application.

Anton,
I definitely could see using this e609 silver Sennheiser draped over the amps, as I've seen in the reviews, so I will probably keep it for that.
I do have a budget of about $200-$250 for a mic, would love suggestion (again I'm recording Acoustic over a mic -that's my desire anyway).
Thanks for the video -checking this out.

TBMan,
awesome thanks for the info on focusrite, and zoom h5


Thanks to all for the input!
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:31 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robkoa View Post
I do have a budget of about $200-$250 for a mic, would love suggestion (again I'm recording Acoustic over a mic -that's my desire anyway).
So this mic is just for recording acoustic? No vocals? Is stereo necessary?

Typically engineers will put out small diameter condensers (SDC) for acoustic instruments. The smaller, quicker-to-react diaphragm captures more details and transients, although you can get good results with large diaphragm condensers too. If you have two mics you can get a stereo recording, which can be nice for solo guitar or maybe guitar and voice. For some stereo techniques, like spaced pairs, the mics don't even have to be the same model. One mic (mono) is fine if you're putting the guitar into a mix with other instruments.

I pointed out several "starter" SDC mics above, and at $100 each you could get two. The SE Electronics sE8 gets nice reviews , at $250 ea, and the Audio Technicas mentioned are good choices too. A Rode NT5 is around $220.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robkoa View Post
...........TBMan,
awesome thanks for the info on focusrite, and zoom h5...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
.....I pointed out several "starter" SDC mics above, and at $100 each you could get two. The SE Electronics sE8 gets nice reviews , at $250 ea, and the Audio Technicas mentioned are good choices too. A Rode NT5 is around $220.
FWIW I'm very happy with my SE8 pair...
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:12 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robkoa View Post
Hi all you crazy cats n' kittens.

tldr; please check gear list below, and simply recommend: YES This gear should give good results, or NO this is the wrong gear, use XYZ instead.



I'm a noob. I want to start recording. I walk into GC, and explain what I want to do: Sit on a stool, and record acoustic guitar faithfully (what you hear is what you get), from a single xlr mic.

I learned that I need 3 things.
1. A Microphone to capture the analog sound coming from my acoustic guitar.
2. An Audio Interface to plug that XLR cable from Mic, to receive and conver the analog signal to digital, to pass to a computer (in my case) for recording.
3. Studio monitor: Speaker system that allows you to hear your recording live real time while you record, so that you can monitor the level of the audio and the general sound.

I set it all up. Finally got it all working (needed to get a correct Focusrite Audio Interface Firmware, before which I couldn't record).

Now it works, but the sound is god awful. I learned by trial and error, that you have to raise the GAIN to basically 100% to even hear anything on the recording, and when I record the sound is just a wall of boom. I'm slightly exaggerating, but if my Android Pixel4 audio recording is a 1 out of 10, then this $500+ setup is a 2/10.

The guitar sounds far away, even though I put the mic as close to me as possible. I tried to move the mic back 10", 12" 16" 2 feet, 3 feet, it doesn't ever sound good. Just boomy and as I move away, 'boomy but far away' sounding.

I see that this mic seems to do wonders for Guitar Amp recording. Is this just the wrong tool?
PS They gave me one of these because they didn't have a Shure sm57 (their original recommendation).

Gear below:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - Audio Interface
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Focusri...%202i2&index=1

Sennheiser e609 Silver - Dynamic Microphone
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Sennhei...-Microphone.gc

Sterling MX3 Black - Studio Monitor
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Sterlin...00000215767.gc

Lenovo W530 computer (plenty of horsepower)

Audacity for recording: with Scarlett 2i2 as in and out.

I don't expect anyone to dig deep and try to figure this particular situation out with me. That would be very lazy on my part. My only question is:
Should I be able to get this gear working in such a way that I can record faithful sounding acoustic guitar?

OR - is this just the wrong gear, and should I be using something different?
GC strikes again.

Dynamic mics CAN sound good on acoustic guitars, but they are not generally a good way for a newbie to obtain good results.

I'd recommend you get a small diaphragm condenser as a first mic to record guitar. I recommend a AKG P170 as a sub-$100 mic that will get you consistently good results.

Use your 48v phantom power and set your interface gain a bit below where the clipping LED flashes. That will get you a good recorded wav to experiment with.

DO NOT place the mic directly in line with the sound hole of your guitar! That's the sure-fire method to woofy guitar tone. Position the mic 8" to 12" out from the area in between the sound hole and where the neck joins the body. You can work with better mic positioning later. You need something that works to start out with.

Your interface is fine.

A good set of headphones will get you a lot farther than 3" monitors. My favorites are Beyerdynamic DT770s, but it's nice to preview them somewhere that you can audition several brands / models and pick out what works for you.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:38 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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With one mic, the default position for acoustic guitar is aimed the body/neck joint somewhere around 10 inches to a foot away. If you're trying to capture vocals on the same pass, you'll need to compromise a bit and try to get the best blend of your voice and the guitar and/or move the mic farther away.

The big no-no on mic'ing an acoustic is pointing the mic at the soundhole. Also some mics will get a proximity effect (boost in low mids) if they are close to the source. Either of these can increase the boom and woof effect you want to avoid. Rooms can have resonances that do this too I think, and the farther away you place the mic, the more room you'll get.

Other, better, recordist may have further ideas.

Sounds like you may keep the e609 for guitar cabs. It's a good one for that!

If you don't have a good room or a powerful voice, from my non-expert/non-pro (but a person also whose audio production needs prioritize getting something presentable rapidly) I'd consider* one of those inexpensive condensers for voice, and an IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage clip in mic for the guitar. The iRig Acoustic Stage has a quick "auto EQ" feature, sounds decent, doesn't require an second mic stand or arm, and the two mics will let you get the best placement for your vocals, which is what listeners care about most anyway.

Alternative: record the guitar parts in one pass, overdub the vocals on another. Then you can use one mic and spend even more time and focus on the vocal.


*Again. I'm going against the grain of most advice, but I'm not sure that a dynamic vocal mic, even an inexpensive one like a SM57/58 or a Sennheiser e835 might not produce good results and some mitigation from environmental noise and bad room sound compared to condensers for voice.

Sensitive mics are great for recording nuance in good rooms or with instrumental sources of great dynamic range or light voices. And the advice to improve the room (so that you don't have anything there to mitigate) is also valid, though not trivial for someone to do starting out, self-engineering their recordings, and with a limited budget.

I'm hesitant even to write this. People with more knowledge than I who have produced better recordings may contradict me. You should probably listen to them. I do myself.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:12 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
*Again. I'm going against the grain of most advice, but I'm not sure that a dynamic vocal mic, even an inexpensive one like a SM57/58 or a Sennheiser e835 might not produce good results and some mitigation from environmental noise and bad room sound compared to condensers for voice.
You certainly can get decent sound from something like a 57, but more "colored" than a condenser. I posted a video in another thread where a Grammy-winning engineer used a spaced pair with a LDC on the neck/body joint and a 57 near the bridge. Nice sound with a little midrange grit and punch for bluesy stuff.

There is also a Nuemann video out there on micing singer-songwriters where they used a hand-held condenser (KMS105?) to isolate vocals from guitar; any decent hand-held mic, even dynamic, could work.

But based on the OP (no mention of vocals) a condenser will likely give better results over a dynamic.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:48 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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How did you spend $500 for $360 worth of gear? Plus a few cables and a mic stand, I guess, but ...

Look at a LDC (Large Diameter Condensor) mic, it will work fine for acoustic guitar, and can also be used for vocals. Lots of choices in the $100-$170 range. Those $110 speakers are no good for low end, you really can't ell how your recording sounds though those. Your bad sound (no matter where the mic to guitar was) - did you have monitoring on so the sound was coming out through the speakers while recording?
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